Great Baroque Masterpieces

Release Date: 4/24/2012
Label: Naxos
Catalog Number: 8501061
Number of Discs: 10

Physical Format:

CD
In Stock
$69.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
GREAT BAROQUE MASTERPIECES (10-CD Box Set)

Baroque music describes the period in Western classical music dating from approximately 1600 to 1750. The Baroque period saw the development of functional tonality, as well as new instrumental playing techniques and musical notation. It was during this time that opera was established as a musical genre, and the period also saw the expansion of the range and complexity of instrumental performance.

This collection concentrates on the instrumental music of the period. No survey of the Baroque would be complete without the music of JS Bach, whose Brandenburg concertos are commonly regarded as the apex of Baroque music. The radiant concertos of Vivaldi demonstrate the exhilarating range of instrumental colour that flourished at this time and contrast with the orchestral zest of Handel’s robust Water Music. From classical favourites such Pachelbel’s Canon and Albinoni’s Adagio, to Concerti Grossi from composers as diverse as Corelli, Handel, Locatelli and Geminiani, this set is the perfect compilation of works from this most fascinating of eras.

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set:

Bach: Orchestral Suites
"After his hypersonic and occasionally reckless Brandenburgs, Helmut Müller-Brühl gets the tempos and balances right for the four Orchestral Suites. Technically solid and buoyant in spirit, the performances really take off, largely due to an approach that allows the character of each dance to set the tone for each movement. Although we're hearing (mostly) modern instruments (there are natural trumpets and what sounds like a Baroque flute), the playing style is centered in currently accepted conventions of Baroque performance practice, including clean, distinctly articulated bowing, a bright, lean string sound, and limited vibrato. Happily, Müller-Brühl doesn't indulge in distracting double-dotted French overture fussiness or similar affectations that some conductors find irresistible. Instead, we get fine, straightforward performances with plenty of energy and verve--no quirky ornaments or extreme tempos. And, speaking of tempos, the famous "Air" from Suite No. 3 is perfectly paced, its interpretive manner gentle and confident without Romantic pretension. The following gavotte movement, which often is run over in a mad rush by conductors and players over-eager to show off, here is given air and space enough for us to feel it as a legitimate dance. Karl Kaiser's virtuosic flute solo ("Badinerie") is on par with the finest recorded versions"

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

Handel: Water Music, Royal Fireworks Music
These works are so familiar--and so frequently successfully recorded--that a reviewer can almost admire the record buyer who already owns one or two versions (say, one on modern instruments and another on period) and doesn't have to sit and analyze another. Decisions, decisions: Gardiner (Philips) is just about ideal on period instruments, but Norrington (Virgin), also on period instruments, has more personality and offers some surprises from the brass. Charles Mackerras (Telarc), with modern instruments, is brightly colored. But enough about them.

Both works were composed for outdoor events--heaven knows what they sounded like. The Water Music (1715, 1717) was used to entertain royalty floating up and down the Thames; some of it may have been played indoors with supper. The Royal Fireworks Music dates from 1749 and was to be performed in Green Park to celebrate the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle; the rehearsal, a week earlier, was attended by 12,000 people. At the performance itself, the fireworks were unimpressive, but one of the pavilions caught fire. Talk about excitement.

Kevin Mallon leads a Toronto-based, 34-person group of period instrumentalists called the Aradia Ensemble on this new, bargain issue, and it's a terrific, ear-opening show. The music is, above all, joyful, with dance movements galore and plenty of giddy pomp. Mallon has rethought the tempos, almost all of which, he feels, should be quicker than we're accustomed to hearing. If you listen to the Air, the fourth movement to Suite No. 1, you'll be surprised at how good it sounds played without the usual serious "aura" that drags it down. Mallon writes in the accompanying notes that he looked at an 18th-century score for the piece and discovered it was marked "presto".


These quick tempos work most of the time, and if, for example, you overlook the fact that the alla hornpipe of the Water Music Suite No. 2 and the Rigaudon of No. 3 could only have been danced by a dancer on speed, and just listen to how effortlessly entertaining the music is, you'll love it. Mallon is not rigid in his fleetness, however: the final movement of Suite No. 1 is relaxed, and he slows it down even further for its last few seconds, giving it the stature it requires.


Mallon also adds side-drum and tambourines to a couple of the movements, and they add jollity and jauntiness; only a whiner would object. There's a thin line in this music between too ostentatious and too mild, and by keeping his forces slim and his tempos original and suited to the music, he avoids being either. When the trumpets and horns ring out they don't blare, and in La Paix from the Royal Fireworks Music, when Mallon uses transverse flutes (as suggested in the original manuscript), the effect is magical rather than just mellow. Listen to the overture of the Royal Fireworks, brass blasting, drums being banged with wooden-headed sticks, all at a military tempo that implies forward propulsion rather than combative stodginess.

If I have one criticism of the performances, it's similar to how I feel about the same conductor's recent recording of Rinaldo: the strings tend to attack softly, and I prefer more snap. Maybe I'm looking for trouble, but those slashing attacks tend to make you sit up and listen even more attentively. But these performances are wonderfully peppery nonetheless, and Naxos' absolutely natural recording captures every sound and balances the instruments ideally. This is both a bargain and a terrific reading. Highly recommended, and right to the top of the list.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com [3/7/2006]
Works on This Recording
1. Brandenburg Concerto no 1 in F major, BWV 1046 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1717 ; ?Cöthen, Germany
2. Brandenburg Concerto no 2 in F major, BWV 1047 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1717-1718 ; ?Cöthen, Germany
3. Brandenburg Concerto no 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1708-1710 ; ?Weimar, Germany
4. Brandenburg Concerto no 3 in G major, BWV 1048 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1711-1713 ; ?Weimar, Germany
5. Brandenburg Concerto no 4 in G major, BWV 1049 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Corinne Chapelle (Violin), Daniel Rothert (Recorder), Nadja Schubert (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1720 ; ?Cöthen, Germany
6. Brandenburg Concerto no 5 in D major, BWV 1050 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Christine Pichlmeier (Violin), Karl Kaiser (Flute), Robert [keyboards] Hill (Harpsichord)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1720-1721 ; ?Cöthen, Germany
7. Concerto for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord in A minor, BWV 1044 "Triple Concerto" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Christine Pichlmeier (Violin), Karl Kaiser (Flute), Robert [keyboards] Hill (Harpsichord)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1730 ; Leipzig, Germany
8. Concerto for Harpsichord and 2 Recorders in F major, BWV 1057 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Nadja Schubert (Recorder), Eva Morsbach (Recorder), Robert [keyboards] Hill (Harpsichord)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1738-1739 ; Leipzig, Germany
9. Suite for Orchestra no 4 in D major, BWV 1069 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Martin Kevenhörster (Bassoon), Anja M. Schmiel (Oboe), Ute Hartwich (Natural Trumpet), Hans-Martin Kothe (Natural Trumpet), Almut Rux (Natural Trumpet), Stefan Schilli (Oboe), Bettina Eger (Oboe), Stephan [percussion] Rapp (Timpani)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1729-1731 ; Leipzig, Germany
10. Suite for Orchestra no 1 in C major, BWV 1066 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Martin Kevenhörster (Bassoon), Anja M. Schmiel (Oboe), Stefan Schilli (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1717-1723 ; Cöthen, Germany
11. Suite for Orchestra no 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Karl Kaiser (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1738-1739 ; Leipzig, Germany
12. Suite for Orchestra no 3 in D major, BWV 1068 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Anja M. Schmiel (Oboe), Ute Hartwich (Natural Trumpet), Hans-Martin Kothe (Natural Trumpet), Almut Rux (Natural Trumpet), Stefan Schilli (Oboe), Martin Kevenhörster (Bassoon), Stephan [percussion] Rapp (Timpani)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1729-1731 ; Leipzig, Germany
13. Water Music Suite no 1 in F major, HWV 348 by George Frideric Handel
Conductor: Kevin Mallon
Orchestra/Ensemble: Aradia Ensemble
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1715-1717 ; London, England
14. Water Music Suite no 2 in D major, HWV 349 by George Frideric Handel
Conductor: Kevin Mallon
Orchestra/Ensemble: Aradia Ensemble
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1715-1717 ; London, England
15. Water Music Suite no 3 in G major, HWV 350 by George Frideric Handel
Conductor: Kevin Mallon
Orchestra/Ensemble: Aradia Ensemble
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1715-1717 ; London, England
16. Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351 by George Frideric Handel
Conductor: Kevin Mallon
Orchestra/Ensemble: Aradia Ensemble
Period: Baroque
Written: 1749 ; London, England
17. Concerti grossi (6), Op. 3: no 2 in B flat major, HWV 313 by George Frideric Handel
Conductor: Bradley Creswick
Orchestra/Ensemble: Northern Sinfonia
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1715-1717 ; London, England
18. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 7 in B flat major, HWV 325 by George Frideric Handel
Conductor: Kevin Mallon
Orchestra/Ensemble: Aradia Ensemble
Period: Baroque
Written: 1739 ; London, England
19. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 12 in B minor, HWV 330 by George Frideric Handel
Conductor: Jozef Kopelman
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: 1739 ; London, England
20. Concertos (6) for Organ, Op. 4: no 4 in F major, HWV 292 by George Frideric Handel
Performer: Simon Lindley (Organ)
Conductor: Bradley Creswick
Orchestra/Ensemble: Northern Sinfonia
Period: Baroque
Written: 1735 ; London, England
21. Concerto for Organ in F major, HWV 295 "Cuckoo and the Nightingale" by George Frideric Handel
Performer: Johann Aratore (Organ)
Conductor: John Tinge
Orchestra/Ensemble: Handel Festival Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1739 ; London, England
22. Concertos (4) for Violin, Op. 8 no 1-4 "Four seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Takako Nishizaki (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: 1725 ; Venice, Italy
23. Concerto for Violin in E major, Op. 8 no 1/RV 269 "Primavera" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Takako Nishizaki (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1725 ; Venice, Italy
24. Concerto for Violin in G minor, Op. 8 no 2/RV 315 "L'estate" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Takako Nishizaki (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: 1725 ; Venice, Italy
25. Concerto for Violin in F major, Op. 8 no 3/RV 293 "L'autunno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Takako Nishizaki (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: 1725 ; Venice, Italy
26. Concerto for Violin in F minor, Op. 8 no 4/RV 297 "L'inverno" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Takako Nishizaki (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: 1725 ; Venice, Italy
27. Concerto for Violin in E flat major, Op. 8 no 5/RV 253 "La tempesta di mare" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Béla Bánfalvi (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Budapest Strings
Period: Baroque
Written: 1725 ; Venice, Italy
28. Concerto for Violin in C major, Op. 8 no 6/RV 180 "Il piacere" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Béla Bánfalvi (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Budapest Strings
Period: Baroque
Written: 1725 ; Venice, Italy
29. Concerto for Violin in B flat major, Op. 8 no 10/RV 362 "La caccia" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Béla Bánfalvi (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Budapest Strings
Period: Baroque
Written: 1725 ; Venice, Italy
30. Concerto for Violin in A minor, Op. 3 no 6/RV 356 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Jindrich Pazdera (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1711 ; Venice, Italy
31. Concerto for Piccolo in C major, RV 443 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Jirí Stivín (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
32. Concerto for Oboe in D minor, Op. 8 no 9/RV 454 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Stefan Schilli (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
33. Concerto for Flute in D major, Op. 10 no 3/RV 428 "Il gardellino" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Jirí Válek (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1728 ; Venice, Italy
34. Concerto for Cello in D minor, RV 406 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Raphael Wallfisch (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
35. Concerto for Bassoon in B flat major, RV 502 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Tamas Benkocs (Bassoon)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
36. Chamber Concerto for Lute and 2 Violins in D major, RV 93 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Jozef Zsapka (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
37. Overture-Suite for Recorder, Strings and Basso Continuo in A minor, TV 55 no a 2 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer: Jirí Stivín (Recorder)
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
38. Concerto for Viola in G major, TV 51 no G 9 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer: Ladislav Kyselak (Viola)
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1716-1721 ; Frankfurt, Germany
39. Tafelmusik, Part 2: no 3, Concerto for 3 Violins in F major by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer: Quido Hölbling (Violin), Alexander Jablokov (Violin), Anna Hölbling (Violin)
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
40. Tafelmusik, Part 3: no 3, Concerto for 2 Horns in E flat major by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer: Bedrich Tylsar (French Horn), Zdenek Tylsar (French Horn)
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: 18th Century ; Germany
41. Symphony in A major by Giovanni Battista Sammartini
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Classical
Written: 18th Century ; Italy
42. Sinfonie (6) e Concerti (6) à 5 for Strings, Op. 2: Sonata no 6 in G minor by Tomaso Albinoni
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: by 1700 ; Italy
43. Concerto for 2 Violins in A minor, Op. 3 no 8/RV 522 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: 1711 ; Venice, Italy
44. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 1: no 12 in G minor by Pietro Antonio Locatelli
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: 1721/1729 ; Italy
45. Sinfonie da chiesa (12), Op. 2: no 10 in C major by Francesco Manfredini
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: by 1709 ; Italy
46. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 4 in D major by Arcangelo Corelli
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: 1708-1712 ; Rome, Italy
47. Concerti grossi (6), Op. 2: no 2 in C minor by Francesco Geminiani
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
Written: 1732 ; England
48. Concerti grossi (6) "VI Concertos in Seven Parts": no 3 in F major by Alessandro Scarlatti
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
49. Solomon, HWV 67: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by George Frideric Handel
Orchestra/Ensemble: Budapest Strings
Period: Baroque
Written: by 1749 ; London, England
50. Concerto for Oboe in D minor: 2nd movement, Adagio by Alessandro Marcello
Performer: Stefan Schilli (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: by 1717 ; Italy
51. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 8 in G minor "Christmas" - 7th movement, Largo "Pastorale" by Arcangelo Corelli
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
52. Canon and Gigue for 3 Violins and Basso Continuo in D major by Johann Pachelbel
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
53. Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056: 2nd movement, Largo-Arioso by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Harald Hoeren (Harpsichord)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: circa 1738-1739 ; Leipzig, Germany
54. Concerto for Trumpet in D major "Etienne Roger": 1st movement by Giuseppe Torelli
Performer: Niklas Eklund (Trumpet)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Wasa Baroque Ensemble
Period: Baroque
55. Concerti (12) à 5, Op. 9: no 2 for Oboe in D minor - 2nd movement, Adagio by Tomaso Albinoni
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1722 ; Venice, Italy
56. Serse, HWV 40: Ombra mai fu "Largo" by George Frideric Handel
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1738 ; London, England
57. Adagio for Organ and Strings in G minor by Tomaso Albinoni
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
58. Concerti grossi (6), Op. 3: no 3 in E minor - 4th movement, Allegro by Francesco Geminiani
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
59. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 1: no 8 in F minor "Christmas Concerto" - Pastorale by Pietro Antonio Locatelli
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
60. Easter Oratorio, BWV 249: Kommt, eilet und laufet by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble: Budapest Strings
Period: Baroque
61. Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor, BWV 1060: 1st movement, Allegro by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble: Budapest Strings
Period: Baroque
62. Serse, HWV 40: Ombra mai fu "Largo" by George Frideric Handel
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
Written: 1738 ; London, England
63. Adagio for Organ and Strings in G minor by Tomaso Albinoni
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque
64. Concerti grossi (6), Op. 3: no 3 in E minor - 4th movement, Allegro by Francesco Geminiani
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
65. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 1: no 8 in F minor "Christmas Concerto" - Pastorale by Pietro Antonio Locatelli
Conductor: Jaroslav Krcek
Orchestra/Ensemble: Capella Istropolitana
Period: Baroque
66. Easter Oratorio, BWV 249: Kommt, eilet und laufet by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble: Budapest Strings
Period: Baroque
67. Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor, BWV 1060: 1st movement, Allegro by Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble: Budapest Strings
Period: Baroque
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